Norfolk Teen Arrested For ‘Satanist’ Attack On Catholic Church

Image depicting a satanic figure
A poster depicting a satanic figure was left on the altar of St Mary’s church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth

BBC

“A teenager arrested after a satanic image was left at the altar of a church has been released on bail.

Fires were also lit inside St Mary’s Catholic church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on Tuesday.

CCTV footage showed a man lighting the fires before trying to burn a sacred icon from the altar and replacing it with a picture of a satanic figure.

A 17-year-old arrested on Thursday on suspicion of criminal damage has been bailed until 18 April.”

BBC – 29 March 2018

“A Catholic church has been “desecrated” for a second time after a man lit fires and left satanic images at the altar, the diocese said.

The incident at St Mary’s church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was caught on CCTV.

The church said footage showed a man lighting small fires before attempting to burn a sacred icon he took off the altar and put a picture of a satanic figure in its place.

Norfolk Police said it was treating it as a religiously aggravated hate crime.

The church was targeted by a fire-starter
CCTV image of man at church doors
CCTV captured a man walking into the church and committing the acts of desecration at the altar

Parish priest Fr Anthony Nwankwo said something similar to Tuesday’s attack happened four months ago when someone came into the church and left a satanic picture at the foot of a cross at the back of the church.

He added: “Our church and sanctuary has been desecrated. We will not close the church but to use the altar and sanctuary we need to go through a service to re-consecrate the area.”

Parishioner of 33 years Brian Lafferty said he was appalled.

“I have never seen anything like it before and it is quite disturbing really, especially in this day and age.”

Alter with remnants of a fire
It is the second time the church has been targeted

The Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia said it intended to keep its churches open despite the religious attack.

“I am very saddened by what has happened, especially in Holy Week,” Bishop of East Anglia Alan Hopes said.

“I am hoping it is not a hate crime, but whoever did it needs to know that he is already forgiven because that is part of who we are as Christians.”

Fr Anthony Nwankwo with parishioner Brian Lafferty
Fr Anthony Nwankwo with parishioner Brian Lafferty holding the sacred icon that the man tried to burn

Investigating officer PC Lewis Gilmore said the CCTV was being examined and the force was appealing for further information.

“We are treating this very seriously and this is being investigated as a hate incident,” a police spokesman said.”

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